Why Splice Bombed the Box Office and What We Can Learn From It

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Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley star in ‘Splice’ as a pair of geneticists who, apparently having never seen a sci-fi horror movie, decide to throw caution to the wind and put together different types of DNA animal to create a human-animal hybrid. The two end up making Dren (played by Delphine Chanéac), a rapidly growing human-like creature that has gills, retractable wings, a large tail with a stinger, and other traits that make them very dangerous. . Things take a twisted turn from there, as the film blends disturbing sexual acts and violence with deeper themes about creator-creation relationships and the pride of humanity. Unsurprisingly, Guillermo del Toro was drawn to this “Frankenstein”-style tale early on and served as its executive producer.

The relevance of “Splice” did not escape anyone. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert said it was “at the right time to open shortly after genome pioneer Craig Venter’s announcement of a self-replicating cell.” Comparisons to David Cronenberg’s body horror work were equally inevitable, as were those comparing the film to a more serious riff on Roger Donaldson’s 1995 sci-fi horror thriller “Species.” The film’s austere tone and nasty plot twists also divided it among critics, with some slamming it as nothing more than a lewd B-movie hiding beneath its slick surface and praising the actors and cast. creative.

Audiences weren’t really taken with “Splice,” which gives them a D CinemaScore when it opened in theaters on June 4, 2010. The film went raw $28.5 million at the box office against a budget of $30 million, with Silver’s Dark Castle label earning the biggest hit after committing over $35 million to buy and promote the film on the heels of its run on the festival circuit.

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